I’ve been hearing more lately from women (and men) who don’t have the easier community acceptance that many of us have grown accustomed to in North America. Several of them are single women in South Africa, looking for community as they contemplate or take the Choice Mom path. Here is one:
“I am a single woman from South Africa. I have always wanted children, but I assumed that I have to wait for the perfect guy. Your website wasn’t the only reason I started thinking of having children on my own, but your website did make me realize that I wasn’t the only single woman that wants children.
The idea of adopting a child was something I wanted to do since forever. The idea of filling my home and heart with a child just feels natural. Do you get e-mails from South Africa? Do you know South Africans that have gone through a Choice Mom decision? Do you know the procedures for South African adoption, local or international?
A couple of years ago I contacted an orphanage in my area. I am not sure I was ready for the commitment, at the time. But I wanted to know what to do; how to prepare; who to go see. Like most of the Choice Moms I’ve read about, I like planning ahead. Although they never said that I would not be able to adopt, they did scare me that my chances of adopting a child wouldn’t be that easy. Being single.
Not only is the waiting list long scaring me — it could take 10 years, if I am lucky. The process, uncertainty and the manner in which everything was told didn’t feel comfortable.
The idea of having a child that was all mine, and couldn’t be taken away, was appealing to me. I started thinking of having a child with donor sperm. This is something that is now on my mind, all the time. But I am afraid. Not of being a mother, because I believe I will be great. Not at being on my own, because I know I can do this. Not at being a working mother, because although I love my job, my job is not my life and I have family in town that supports my decision.
But I am afraid of my community. I will be the first to have a child (by donor sperm) in my town. How do I tell my story? How do I not care what they are saying? Why are my needs so important? And since my parents and brothers live in the same town, they will live through the questions as well. They will not be able to distance themselves from my decision, and disapproving people surely have plenty to say.
I know this must sound petty. But I am afraid for all, and I don’t know if this is a fear I can handle putting everyone I love through.
I am making contact not because I believe you have the answers. I guess I needed somebody to listen. And if you can give some insight to my fears, that’s okay.”
Mikki’s note: I’ve written back to this woman, and put her in touch with several other women in South Africa who have contacted me recently. But I know it would help for you to comment to her in the reply area below.